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Poster: JackDog Date: Jun 27, 2012 10:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Smallest venue where you saw them?

I was reading through the "Places I've Seen Them" thread and started wondering which of those venues was the smallest. I only saw them in football stadiums and basketball arenas, but was anyone here lucky enough to see the Grateful Dead in a small venue? "Small" is pretty subjective in this context, but for this thread it probably means under 2,000 capacity.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffJeff Kaplan Date: Jun 27, 2012 12:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Saw them at the Fillmore East which Wikipedia claims was under 2,700 and the Beacon Theater which is just slightly larger. Saw JGB at Keystone Berkeley a number of times and even opened up for him there once. That held maybe a few hundred when it was packed.

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Jun 27, 2012 2:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

See now that's impressive. You opened for him? Pray tell - a new story for the forum.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffJeff Kaplan Date: Jun 27, 2012 3:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

not much to tell. it was either '78 or'79. the opener cancelled at the last minute and our sound guy also worked with the Keystone and Ultrasound. he recommended us. we got a call about an hour before the show (which i was going to anyway) and three out of five of the band members lived in Berkeley so we did an acoustic set. jerry and his band were heading out to the stage as we were headed back to the green room so we just exchanged hellos, he thanked us and went on stage. now the time jerry cursed at me for taping is a better story. it's on the denver coliseum show reviews.

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Poster: leftwinger57 Date: Jun 27, 2012 3:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Since I was the one who started the original thread I'll add to the smallest.Fillmore East,Orpheum Theater,Fox Warfield Theater.Not sure on whose seating is what but personally nothing beats a theater.Reseved seats,no weather,no monstous crowds.About seeing Jerry I was fortunate to see them at all the Keystones and I distinctly remember the opener for a Berkeley show was a comedy couple called Rick and Ruby a husband and wife team,pretty funny as I recall.Their big finish was playing a guitar w/ a flamingo head calling it flamenco music.I guess you had to be there.Oh yea,the Cotati Theater also for Jerry.

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Poster: Daddy D Date: Jun 30, 2012 12:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

link please!

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Jun 27, 2012 11:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

There were only 1983 people camped on the 3rd hole fairway at SPAC in '84 and they trashed it.

I thought Mary Lou Whitney herself was going to come out and start busting Heads....

Happened again in '85 when 40,000 showed up and again trashed the place. I had finished training with the Navy and had left the area in July of '84, but had friends still in the area who said it was a nightmare. After that debacle, SPAC officials capped the gated for every show at around 25,000.

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Poster: craven714 Date: Jun 27, 2012 1:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

What was the smallest place (basketball arena?) YOU ever
saw themthem JackDog?

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Poster: JackDog Date: Jun 28, 2012 11:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

I'm not sure about official capacities, so it was either Riverport Amphitheater in St. Louis or The Pyramid in Memphis (according to Wikipedia, both are about 20,000).

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Poster: craven714 Date: Jun 28, 2012 1:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

The pyramid in Tenn? Drove past it a couple times in my life. Looks super-cool.

You must be a late bloomer :) I've heard from some people
that the shows they saw there werent too good (sound wise,
and band wise). What did you think? (and dates plz).
Im gonna guess 94?

I CAN NOT believe that its gonna be a Bass Pro Shop "megastore." The size of that thing? 20,000 people puchasing BAIT? pleeeeeeeeease. Im blown away.

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Poster: JackDog Date: Jun 29, 2012 10:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

I didn't know about the Pyramid being closed, and the Bass Pro Shop thing is just sad...but I guess that's better than being torn down (which is what happened to the venue where I saw my favorite Grateful Dead show). I was a late bloomer, listening to them for the first time during my freshman year in college in 1992. Here's my list of shows:

Soldier Field, Chicago - summer 1993 (both shows)
Richfield Coliseum, Cleveland - fall 1993 (2nd & 3rd nights, 9/10/93 is my favorite Dead show)
Soldier Field, Chicago - summer 1994 (first night only)
The Pyramid, Memphis - spring 1995 (first night only)
Riverport Amp, St. Louis - summer 1995 (second night only)

So only seven shows with just two multi-night trips. I live in Kansas so all of these were pretty long drives. When I saw my first shows I only had "Skeletons From The Closet" and a few other cd's, and seeing the parking lot and the show were eye-opening experiences. I was able to acquire a few tapes before my second trip, but I still didn't know most of their song list (I heard NFA for the first time ever and thought that the clapping afterward was spontaneous LOL). It wasn't until my last show that I knew all of the songs that were played.

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Poster: craven714 Date: Jun 29, 2012 12:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

better on the bus late than not at all :)

Yeah, I hear ya about the Coliseum being torn down. Growing
up in Ohio, that place became a church to me. Back in I
think 86 was my first show: Bon Jovi 'slippery when wet'
tour I think. It sucked soooooooooooooo bad. But it was
the thing to do in my teenage years. Ive seen Ratt, Poison,
Floyd, Plant, Cinderella, INXS
(where I watched someone die on the way there in
a car crash, turned out to be the daughter of my high school
vice principle. Very sad.was trippin my balls off too
which really fucked with my head for a while),
and god...
just sooooo many bands. Matter of fact I was listening to
the 9-8-90 show today. Vinces second show. The Estimated still provides goose pimples for me.

Glad you got to see those 93 shows. Its funny to hear how
you remember it. HA!

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Poster: JackDog Date: Jun 29, 2012 1:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

The funniest thing about those '93 shows in Richfield was that I had no idea about them until the weekend before. I went to school in Manhattan, KS and was visiting friends who were living in Lawrence, KS. We happened to run into some people from my school who were going to the shows and told us about them, and I figured that since they were going there's no reason that we shouldn't. So less than four days later three of us were headed along I-70 to the shows. We left on Wednesday, drove straight through to Cleveland (we passed Richfield and ended up in Cleveland), the three of us slept in my Honda Civic on until the lots opened on Thursday, slept in the car in a park on Thursday night, and we drove all the way to a rest stop in St. Louis after the Friday show. It was a LOT of driving that I'd never even think about doing again today, but it was well worth the trip.

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Poster: craven714 Date: Jun 27, 2012 1:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Gonna have to go with my mind. Its the smallest place I know. But yes, I did see them in said mind. Only one
ticket and its always a miracle. Funny thing is when I got
there, there were so many other people already in there,
that it became standing room only. sad, I know...
It was a great show, even though there was a heckler
screaming from the back of my mind.

OK, OK. Im gonna go with the spaceship in Hampton. Its
like a freakin HS basetball court. The largest would be
RFK stadium. But the best large crowd by far was Buckeye
Lake. A floating sea of Deadheads (some nudidified :) )

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Jun 27, 2012 6:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

LOL! - to the whole post - the small venue of your own mind, complete with hecklers ... and the floating sea of Deadheads, some nudidified ...

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Poster: craven714 Date: Jun 28, 2012 7:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Im glad you found it funny. Just wait til it becomes
annoying :)
The heckler was screaming, "play Truckin'......play Truckin'". Jerry said, "we'll play whatever we want".
btw

The mind is a terrible thing to taste...

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Poster: staggerleib Date: Jun 27, 2012 5:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

According to Wikipedia, the Uptown Theatre Chicago seats roughly 4300 people, but there were about 3500 at each of the many shows I saw there, including the JGB show I saw where he shared the bill with Frank Zappa. Without a doubt the smallest venue in which I saw the Dead. The largest crowds in which I was a part, were those few shows at Soldier Field, I believe 1992 and 94 were 60,000. I chose actively not to attend the '95 shows, and have alternatively regretted and agreed with the decision in retrospect through the intervening almost 17 years.

I did see the Bob Weir/Rob Wasserman acoustic show at the Chicago Theatre, with about 4500 seats. That was a fantastic show. I'd love to get a good copy of that show. I have an awful copy on low quality cassette, but a good quality would be great. Anyone?

This post was modified by staggerleib on 2012-06-28 00:55:31

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Jun 27, 2012 2:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Cafe Au Go Go, 1967--about 200 people. The Electric Circus--maybe a few more. Central Park Bandstand--maybe 5-600?

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Jun 28, 2012 6:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

I'm jealous.

I did see Railroad Earth in Richmond at Alley Katz in 2005 in front of a crowd of maybe 25. Apparently management had double booked them with (then) Hot Buttered Rum String Band. Rumor has it HBRSB got their panties in a knot over being the opening band and cancelled. Most of the presale was for HBRSB so most people left when they got there. You might have thought that RRE would have been upset and just mailed in the show, but they really delivered a fantastic show. They also bought a beer for everyone in the venue. Next to the New Year's run at Theatre of the Living Arts in Philly later that year, this show is one of my favorite all time.

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Poster: Daddy D Date: Jun 30, 2012 11:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

nice...

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Poster: Headstrung Date: Jun 27, 2012 12:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

For me it has to be the Fox in Atlanta October 1985. Jerry band is another story. Has to be the West Hartford Agora in November 1983. I think the capacity was 500 or so. I did get to see Phil with about ten people in the KPIG studios a few years ago. This was by sheer luck because I work for their neighbor in the complex and we were invited after his arrival.

Well I looked it up online and it appears the Agora in West Hartford was larger then I remembered but still easily the smallest place I saw JGB.

This post was modified by Headstrung on 2012-06-27 19:42:16

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Jun 27, 2012 1:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

I saw the JGB at the New Haven Opera House in 1982. No idea just how small, but that was by far the best venue I ever saw him play

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Jun 27, 2012 3:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Agora in West Hartford capacity i think was 800 though not completely sure ....didnt get to JGB but saw Max Creek there many many times!!!

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Poster: Headstrung Date: Jun 27, 2012 6:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Half of my family on my dad's side is from West Hartford so it was the local club. Went with my cousins many times to shows at this venue including Max Creek. I saw Max Creek for the first time at Hammonasett State Park in Madison in 1982 with Cryer and Thunder Road. It was a free concert put on by WHCN. Something like 30,000 people showed up and completely over ran the place. Hitch hiked home across Madison down the Post Road after wards and our ride was in a trans am. They were doing blow as they drove us home. Their driving scared the heck out of me. Never again liked hitch hiking. Only used it out of desperation a handful of times after this experience.

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Poster: The Deep Unreal Date: Jun 28, 2012 3:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

I saw Legion of Mary at Pauls Mall in 1974 - capacity couldn't have been more than a couple hundred people. Other than that, many times at the Boston Music Hall (currently known as the Wang Center) with a capacity of about 3500.

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Jun 27, 2012 11:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Apparently, there are people here saw them in ballrooms -

Smallest places I ever saw them were civic centers and war memorials in New England and New York with app. 8,000-10,000 souls.

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Poster: BVD Date: Jun 27, 2012 12:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Probably The Beacon in NYC which sat around 2900

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Poster: joeken Date: Jun 27, 2012 6:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

The Hult Center in Eugene OR, wikipedia says it seats 2445. Saw the Dead there in '83 and '84 A close second is The Paramount Theater in Portland OR, (now the Schnitzer). Wiki says it seats 2776. Saw the Dead there in '76 and '77.

They both had there advantages, but the Paramount absolutely kicked ass! Of course it didn't hurt that it was '76 and '77, two of my favorite years!

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Poster: pchulo58 Date: Jun 27, 2012 7:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Saw jerry garcia play at the barn at rutgers sat roughly 3200

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Poster: leftwinger57 Date: Jun 30, 2012 3:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Didn't see Jrry there but what about the N.Y. Jerry on Broadway way run. The theater which of course I do not know the name of can't be all that big.

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Poster: pchulo58 Date: Jun 30, 2012 8:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

My friend you must be talking bout the lunt-fontainne theater

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jun 27, 2012 8:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

And interestingly, I think we were seeing them at roughly the same time, right? But a lot of my shows were pretty small.

When I look up venues, I find things in the 2500-5000 range. I don't know if that was the seating configuration on those nights or if there was a redo later or what; it's just Wikipedia. I wasn't counting heads at the time. What I remember is that I was generally up pretty close or had a good view of the band and it didn't feel like sardine land.

Stanley Theater (Pittsburgh) - 2800
Cleveland Music Hall - 2800
Uptown in Chicago - 4800

As they say, "location location location" :-)

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Jun 28, 2012 9:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Never saw them in a regular theater - envious!

Most of the values I found on wikipedia were seating capacities for sporting events, so with the floor open, as it often was, I figured roughly about 20-25% more than the seated capacity. This should not apply to the theaters you're talking about, your numbers are probably accurate.

I did see the JGB at a gorgeous little old opera house in New Haven, CT one time. Dance party! though I remember becoming frightened by the way the ancient balcony moved beneath the weight of all those bouncing Heads.

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Poster: huntr Date: Jun 27, 2012 3:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

likewise only saw them in Stadiums, hockey rinks or basketball arenas

Im thinking Hartford, Worcester or Nassau are all smaller than MSG or the Meadowlands so it would be one of those 3..

Im going to guess Worcester possibly Hartford.. way to lazy to look up the capacity #s..

much envy to those who saw theater runs.. color me green

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Jun 27, 2012 12:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Probably Cal Expo. Definitely more than 2000 but it was quite intimate- at least for Dead shows at the time. There was a water park connected to the facility. I guess if you bought a ticket you could get in the water park for free. Some reviewer on this site said "That stopped when some park official declared that acid and water slides don't mix" Always thought that was funny

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Jun 27, 2012 1:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

See, I was stunned to learn from wikipedia that the Augusta ME Civic Center SEATS 6600 - add in the floor, and you're probably well over 9000. I would have guessed 4000-5000

The Cal Expo Grandstand seats 6,200 - add in the field and you've got a good-sized venue ...

http://www.race-track.info/cal-expo.html

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Poster: Old_NJ_Head_Zimmer Date: Jun 27, 2012 3:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

No way Augusta seated 6600 in 84 whole floor was general admission with seats pushed back

JGB - dont know what Avery Fischer Hall holds and especially Livingston college gym at RU which is like a SMALL high school gym but both are small

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Jun 27, 2012 3:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusta_Civic_Center

I know what you're saying - I wasn't there in 84 but it felt much smaller in 1979, too. It's the same building

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Poster: high flow Date: Jun 29, 2012 5:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

The Cal Expo venue was not the Racetrack grandstand. The concert venue was more like a Bull Fighting ring with well-worn grass, rather than dirt.

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Jun 27, 2012 3:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Can't say for sure. But venues like Cumberland ME CC and Rochester war Memorial may be along those 6,000 seaters as well. Not sure what the acoustics were like but that is cozy for a dead show

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Jun 27, 2012 3:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Revised. Rochester was about 12,000 but Cumberland fits into that wheel house with about 6,600

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Jun 27, 2012 5:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Cumberland and Rochester were by far the most fun places I saw them. And MSG for that mad NY energy.

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Poster: Reade Date: Jun 28, 2012 12:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

12 K seems a bit steep for the good'ol Rochester War Memorial? Maybe since they remodelled but maybe not back in the day? No matter, it might not have been the smallest place they played but anybody lucky enough to have caught them there in the 70s got their money's worth and then some.

I was hoping to hear from those who saw them in their college gym days (- '71ish). Those old school college gyms are *not* big:
Dillon Gym @ Princeton, the Palestra @ U of R, the Camp Randall Gym in Madison, etc.
C'mon, lets hear from you old stoners.

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Jun 29, 2012 8:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

I want to say the band played Alaska once and it was in some high school gym. That must have been awesome

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Poster: Reade Date: Jun 29, 2012 10:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

I know!
What about those 2/69 Dream Bowl shows? A Bowling Alley for cryin' out loud.
I remember I always figured the Dream Bowl to be a smallish outdoor venue, perhaps a little like the Hollywood Bowl. When I learned it was a bowling alley I couldn't freakin' believe it.
How I'd enjoy hearing from someone who caught those performances (which were very strong as we all know, and just before that epic Fillmore West run immortalized on Live Dead) .
There's gotta be somebody who maybe bowled a few frames with Jer when he toggled in for the afternoon sound check! Maybe was able to give The Gar a few pointers on improving his follow-through.....

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 29, 2012 5:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

I think it was bigger, but your post got me thinking and I found the info posted above...

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Jun 27, 2012 11:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Fox in Atlanta. Was in second row dead center for 2 nights in '85. Capacity is way bigger than I recalled - just under 5000. Felt much smaller.
http://www.foxtheatre.org/seatingChart.aspx

So, maybe the Frost was smaller, but just felt bigger b/c outside.

All of it pales to seeing Jerry at the Stone in North Beach.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Jun 28, 2012 7:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Holy smokes!!!

I might have sat right next to you at the Fabulous Fox in '85. Courtesy of Grateful Dead ticket sales!

Most memorable for me though, was Barton Hall in 1981.

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Poster: dtzcuzn Date: Jun 28, 2012 4:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

March 31,1984. Veteran's Memorial Theatre @ the Marin Center-San Rafael,CA. The place seats,what 2,000 maybe? Fun,fun time!!!!!

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Jun 27, 2012 2:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

I'm gonna guess that it was the Orpheum in SF. From there to Oakland Stadium and the Day on the Green in 3 whole months. :)

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Poster: ColdRain108 Date: Jun 27, 2012 3:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Fiesta Hall at the San Mateo fairgrounds, Dance for Disarmament with Joan Baez in '81, 1000 folks maybe.

Hult Center in Eugene seemed quite tiny, 2-3000.

In Boise they had the basketball floor cut in half with a divider and even then only half full.

Warfield was pretty small.

On the east coast the Lake Placid Olympic Arena was pretty small by MSG/Spectrum/SPAC standards.

Jerry Band: the Keystone Berkeley was about the size of my livingroom. The stage was a foot tall at most and I was standing eye to eye with Jerry in the front row...The Agora(sp) Ballroom in Hartford was dinky.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jun 27, 2012 4:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Golden Hall in San Diego, in the 2500 to 3000 range .
The Shrine in LA about 6,400 .

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jun 27, 2012 1:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

HJK, 5,500 seats

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Jun 27, 2012 9:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

if i had to guess id say it was Barton Hall @ Cornell!!

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Poster: BVD Date: Jun 27, 2012 5:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Smallest venue where you saw them?

Was fortunate enough to see Jerry in a bunch of small venues. Queens College, C.W. Post College, The Stone in S.F. and The Keystone in Berkley. Probably the most memorable though was OAITW at the Capitol in Passaic, N.J.

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